Author: Graham Phillips
Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Bear and Company
Publication date: 2005
List: US$18.00, C$23.95
Price & More Info: Click Here
Graham Phillips has written books on The Knights Templar, Atlantis, and Mary
Magdalene. In this book, which is a U.S reissue of The Marian Conspiracy
published in the U.K. in 2000, he approaches one of the more popular of
current topics (the Holy Grail of Christianity) from a slightly different
angle than most current authors. The current, popular, theory about the
unorthodox interpretation of the meaning of the Grail is that it refers to
the family Jesus - specifically his wife (Mary Magdalene) and any children
he may have had. Mr. Phillips approaches from the opposite direction. He
looks at the mother of Jesus as being "the container of the holy blood of
Jesus," which she must have been, since he was born of her.
One thing I especially like about this book is that each chapter concludes
with a clearly written summary of the major points which have been
addressed, thus making it easy to review what has gone before.
Much of the basic material covered by this author will be familiar to those
fairly conversant with early Christian history, although his interpretations
and conclusions may seem fairly to quite unorthodox. There is no new
information in here, but the background is laid out carefully and clearly.
The gradual evolution of Mary from a simple wife and mother of the first
century of the Common Era into a being only slightly less divine than her
son is examined, dissected, and re-assembled.
Accepting the premise that the Grail refers to the sacred bloodline of
Jesus, and the author's assumption that his mother is the source of the
legend (and not his wife, Mary Magdalene) leads the reader on a Grail Quest.
While journeying through this quest, Mr. Phillips sidesteps the "normal"
site of Avalon (Glastonbury). He looks further a field. He finds his
journey leading him to the island of Anglesey, which may have been the site
of sacred Druid site replaced by a chapel built (allegedly) by Joseph of
Arimathea. Whether you accept these ideas or not, the story is fascinating
I'm not sure how well the scholarship and research going into this work
holds up, not being a specialist in the field. And I'm not sure about the
connection between this subject and the search for the historical Arthur
(although the connection to the Grail legend is fairly obvious). Having
said the above, I must admit that I enjoyed being taken along on this
journey by Mr. Phillips. He took me from the Vatican to Jerusalem to the
island of Anglesey, off the coast of Wales, with small side trips. Along
the way he made me feel like I was with him, sharing the experience.
The conclusions of the author may or may not be acceptable, or palatable, to
everyone (or even to the majority of readers), but they should be
responsible for stimulating thought and discussion. That, in my opinion, is
all anyone can ask.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason